articles

gallery
shopping

marketplace

events

links

books 

mystery
marks

silverforum

archives

advertise

 

 

 by Patrick Kapty

______________________________________

State of the Market, huh?

    When my partner Marbeth Schon asked me to write a 'state of the market' report for Modern Silver magazine, I quickly agreed, thinking to myself, 'what's to do?' At most I thought I'd check out a few online auctions on eBay, a couple of the online auction houses that also do conventional i.e. non-online auctions, thumb through a few auction catalogs, and talk to a few dealer friends. Boy, was I wrong!

First of all, the state of what market?

    Even when you narrow the field to cover just 'modern silver', there is still a myriad of niche markets within that umbrella, not to mention the other factors that affect the final prices realized. Such factors as; online versus 'live' sales i.e. shows, shops, fleas/swaps, auctions; the geographical location of these shows/auctions/etc - though this factor is on the wane with the leveling influence of the internet; and a host of other fluctuations, variations, and permutations that produce a state of inflammation in the mind of anyone trying to make sense of all this often-conflicting data.

Basically, though, it all boils down to common sense.

    "Modern silver", in all it's various guises, stylistic differences, designer appellations, period designations, etc, is always going to be more popular (sell more quickly for more money) in large metropolitan centers, especially at locations that are well known for this very specialized segment of the overall market. Of course, if a particular location outside of the modern beltway is extremely well known, then there's a good chance that the prices realized will still be comparable given the leveling influence of the internet, and the fact that a lot more people are willing to travel further to satisfy their collecting urges. Also of course, none of the above is applicable to the Internet, as anyone anywhere can log on and shop for modern all around the world at anytime.

    Another important ingredient in the stew of modern silver market values is 'what's hot'. Not as in cayenne or jalapenos, but what is currently most sought-after by the most modern silver collectors, or the collectors with the most money. This is often a reflection of how much press a particular sub-genre has gotten recently either in the form of new books on the subject, important exhibitions, or other media exposure such as magazines, television, or the web.

    With the advent of the Internet several years ago, the market for a lot of collectibles witnessed a leveling-off of variations in prices due to geographical location, etc, and most other venues saw a drop in their sales, but recently this effect has seemed to be on the wane. The Internet is no longer the all-consuming behemoth that inflated itself prodigiously at the expense of every other venue in sight. Other venues like shows, shops, fleas and swaps, have witnessed a resurgence in relation to the Internet, though none is likely to corner the market anytime soon.

    Overall, the market for modern silver seems to be similar to most other collectible jewelry markets; the high-end is holding it's own, and in some cases is on the rise; the mid-market is stagnant; the low-end is open season for bargain-hunters.

    Some recent success stories include the jewelry of Bjorn Weckstrom and Antonio Pineda. In the case of Weckstrom, over the last couple years vintage examples of his space-age jewelry have gone from neglected and undervalued to shockingly inflated, especially when you consider that almost all of his jewelry is production multiples, even if small numbers. Antonio Pineda's jewelry has also recently garnered increased interest, and a corresponding increase in value. For some reason, this increased interest in modernist jewelry from Scandinavia and Taxco has not seemed to help out the values of most of the other modernist designers from those areas.

    One area that collectors seem to be eyeing more appreciatively these days is the work of modern artist/jewelers from Israel, in particular the work of Rachel Gera. However, there are many other Israeli artists that are noteworthy and deserving of interest. Another new phenomena in the modern collecting world is the increased overlap between 'vintage' modern collectors and collectors of 'contemporary' modern. For myself personally this is a happy circumstance, as good design is good design regardless of historical patina.

    Some of the resources for current auction values include the following auction house websites:

www.skinner.lycos.com
www.doylenewyork.com
www.sothebys.com
www.christies.com

Some informational resources…

www.auctionguide.com
www.internetauctionlist.com
www.eppraisals.com

Of, course, don't forget to check out our What's Coming section for upcoming shows and exhibitions.
       
    

Article by Patrick Kapty
“Patrick Kapty California Dreamin Retro Modern”
(760) 671-4879
 http://stores.ebay.com/California-Dreamin-Retro-Modern-ETC 

Copyright © 2001 Modern Silver Magazine

Your comments are invited. 
  Feedback Form
    

Copyright © 1999 SilverForum

home

articles

gallery
shopping

marketplace

events

links

books 

mystery
marks

silverforum

archives

advertise

 search